In this case study, you can read about how cloud computing helps the Hungarian Water Rescue Service free up more than 1,500 man-days to focus on saving more lives, with the help of an innovative SME - Central Europe On-Demand (CEOD).
Cloud computing strengthens Hungary’s life savers
The Hungarian Water Rescue Service (HWRS) was founded in 1999 as a non-profit organization by 30 volunteers at Lake Balaton, Central Europe’s largest body of water, to provide emergency response and accident prevention on the shores and at sea.
By 2009, the Service already had over 300 members and rescued more than one thousand people from water emergencies. “It’s an intense, around-the-clock operation,” says Sandor Bagyo, President of the Hungarian Water Rescue Service. “Our lifeguards are on duty 24/7, providing emergency response at 42 locations around Lake Balaton and all across the country. We perform ten lifeguard courses a year and reach more than one hundred schools with our preventive lectures, with most of our staff working on a volunteer basis.”
But this extensive network of volunteers and sponsors posed great challenges to the communications and back-office infrastructure at HWRS command centre in Zánka.
“We had no integrated solution to manage our staff database, no shared calendar to schedule lifeguard shifts or training, no unified communications scheme. Everything was done manually across different platforms. “It wasn’t very efficient.” Bagyo explains.
There was a need for an easy-to-operate platform for first responder staff, including lifeguards, medical, emergency and diving units, as well as by volunteer staff with high personnel turnover. In addition, the company needed secure access from multiple devices including mobile and desktop.
Microsoft partner Central Europe On-Demand (CEOD)
emerged as the best possible service provider, with a reputation for providing secure and law-compliant solutions to enterprises, small and medium-sized businesses, as well as telecommunication companies. Performing a needs-oriented analysis, CEOD decided that a cloud-based platform would be able to bring HWRS communications full circle.
“By using the full potential of the cloud with Microsoft Communication Services, we can provide the necessary infrastructure to connect all HWRS communications with a familiar user interface across multiple screens, including the life-saving teams’ mobile devices,” explains Viktor Kovacs, Managing Director of Central Europe On-Demand. “Anything but a hosted solution would have exceeded the budget.” He adds.
“Knowing the precise location and availability of our life-saving specialists is absolutely key in emergency situations and thanks to CEOD’s system, we are now closely connected at all times,” Bagyo says.
In June 2010, the platform mastered its first real-life disaster situation during the HWRS’s response to the flooding in north-eastern Hungary. The disaster caused more than €32 million in damages and destroyed more than 310 homes. “CEOD was able to effectively provision and deliver complete communications services to 20 rescue volunteers who joined the Water Rescue Service for three days to support crisis response,” says Bagyo.
“Within only six months of implementing our hosted Microsoft Outlook with Communication Services solution, we managed to cut tens of thousands of euros in travel costs, integrate staff communications, and free up more than 1,500 man-days in staff resources to do what we do best - saving lives on our country’s lakes and rivers,” says Bagyo.
You can find the original case study here
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